Should Massachusetts allow guns to be equipped with suppressors, or silencers? the headline at bostonglobe.com asks. I guess the comma after suppressors is supposed to indicate that the question isn’t an either/or proposition. ‘Cause a suppressor is a silencer. If you want more of that stupidity, only more so . . .
Check out the “no” side of the question in this feature, helpfully called “the argument.” It’s written by Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael (above), who’s either completely ill-informed on the subject of suppressors (and silencers!) or a practitioner of what pundits call “fake news.”
The purpose of a suppressor, or silencer, is to reduce the noise emitted from the weapon when fired and to minimize muzzle flash. This accessory certainly has some legitimate benefit for law enforcement and military operations but serves no real purpose for civilian use.
Huh? How exactly do cans benefit the police and military, but not civilians (a category which, BTW, also includes the police)?
The suggested advantage of suppressors comes in the form of improved hearing protection afforded users at a range or while hunting, and perhaps the solace it might offer residents who abut an outdoor firearms range. Suppressors may also assist in reducing the recoil upon firing the weapon and improve accuracy.
I get it! Chief Carmichael believes that extra hearing protection, reduced recoil and improved accuracy serve no purpose for “civilians” because . . . because . . . because . . . because of the wonderful things he does!
While suppressors do not mask the sound emitted from a firearm as much as we frequently see in Hollywood movies, they may muffle it enough that someone nearby would be unaware of a shot fired. Some Massachusetts communities even use technology such as ShotSpotter to alert law enforcement of possible shots fired in order to respond quickly and deploy necessary assets.
Since suppressors also reduce muzzle flash, especially in low light conditions, and reduce recoil and muzzle position, they pose an additional threat to law enforcement during critical incidents involving shooters, as it hinders their ability to pinpoint the perpetrator’s location.
We’ve said it before: ShotSpotter has publicly declared that their system isn’t foiled by suppressors. As for suppressors flummoxing law enforcement, where’s the evidence?
Since Massachusetts allows only limited use of rifles for hunting, and shotguns cannot be equipped with suppressors, the hunting argument is irrelevant.
Uh, Chief? SilencerCo makes the Salvo shotgun silencer. A fact you would have discovered if you’d spent 15 seconds Googling the obscure phrase “shotgun silencer.” Willful ignorance or #fakenews? We report, you deride.
Here’s a clue to the Chief’s mastery of his anti-suppressor argument: he ends his defense of suppressor regulations with a big fat qualifier.
. . . legalizing gun suppressors could diminish public safety protection for citizens and law enforcement when critical incidents involving firearms occur.
Or legalizing gun suppressors could increase public safety by protecting their hearing and increasing their accuracy when practicing, hunting and/or during a defensive gun use.